Executive Order Seeks Stronger PNT Systems

Yasmin Tadjdeh | May 8, 2020 | National Defense


Article excerpts:

“…PNT services ‘provided by space-based systems have become a largely invisible utility for technology and infrastructure, including the electrical power grid, communications infrastructure and mobile devices, all modes of transportation, precision agriculture, weather forecasting and emergency response,’ said the [White House Executive Order on Strengthening National Resilience through Responsible Use of Positioning, Navigation and Timing Services], which was released in February.

However, because of the widespread adoption of these systems ‘the disruption or manipulation of these services has the potential to adversely affect the national and economic security of the United States,’ the document noted.

The federal government must foster the responsible use of PNT services by critical infrastructure owners and operators and ensure that such organizations can withstand the disruption or manipulation of the services, the order said.

Within one year of the order, the secretary of commerce, in coordination with ‘sector-specific agencies’ and private industry, must develop what are known as PNT profiles, the document said.

““The PNT profiles will enable the public and private sectors to identify systems, networks and assets dependent on PNT services; identify appropriate PNT services; detect the disruption and manipulation of PNT services; and manage the associated risks to the systems, networks and assets dependent on PNT services,’ the order said.”

“…Any place where ‘weapon systems are procured from Russia, you are potentially at risk as well because they have pretty good [global navigation satellite system] jammers,’ he said. GNSS is a term for navigation satellites that provide positioning information and includes GPS.

However, spoofing of U.S. military signals is less likely due to M-code, or encrypted signals, that the services employ, he added.

In the commercial world, jamming is the main issue, Courtois said. However, that can often happen because of accidental interference.”


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